Book Review: Bridges by dk LeVick
Nature—it is both majestic and deadly, subjugated and unconquerable, mysterious and comprehendible. Niagara Falls in particular holds many secrets just beneath its surface.
Five boys decide to challenge Niagara after seeing an old photograph on the wall of their favorite hangout. Several nineteenth century pedestrians stand just before the falls on an ice bridge, the shop’s proprietor Ol’ Gordy explains. In the winter, the surface freezes over, but the rapids continue to rush agitatedly beneath the surface. It’s dangerous and illegal to go out on the ice bridge, he warns them. No place for boys; no place for anyone.
Adventure! Motivated by the heroic stupidity so often present in young boys and a desire to see their picture hang on the wall of Ol’ Gordy’s shop, the friends decide to journey into the Niagara Gorge.
They bring extra socks to warm their toes, a smattering of junk food to sustain their bellies, and a camera to document their adventures, but they take no measures to prepare themselves emotionally for the harrowing quest.
What’s the worst that can happen? The boys think, full of inflated self belief. When a rescue team appears, they realize that they’ve been caught in their law-breaking antics. Rather than risk punishment, they run deeper into the Gorge, believing they can find a way out for themselves. If they are to emerge from the Gorge at all, they will surely emerge as men, having conquered their childhoods as well as nature itself.
The friends’ tale is interwoven with those of others whose lives have been touched by Niagara—the musical hermit who escapes society’s demands by becoming one with the river, the honeymooning couples who were there the day the falls stopped flowing, the runaway slaves who crossed the bridge from oppression into the freeman lands of Canada, the drummer boy who was rescued from certain death at the hands of an enemy warrior. Their stories are Niagara’s stories.
“Great things usually don’t happen to great people,” our narrator informs us. “Things happen to regular people, and great people emerge.”
dk LeVick’s debut novel, Bridges: A Tale of Niagara is a story to which we can all relate. We as a society, we as individuals, must traverse life’s bridges if ever we are to reach our intended destinations. From ignorance to knowledge, brutality to grace, childhood to adulthood, we must all journey forth—there is no holding back.
With every word, the author’s careful research into the area, the history, and the characters is readily apparent. He seamlessly weaves the disparate threads together through the recurrence of themes and important physical artifacts. Bridges is a must-read for those who have ever struggled to know themselves. LeVick reminds us to look to our pasts and to our homes, and we will surely find ourselves.
Please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a free promotional twitterview and a special winner’s badge. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official Bridges blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.
You can win a free paperback copy of Bridges: A Tale of Niagara by entering your name and email address on its official blog tour page. The winner of the give-away will be announced on Wednesday, June 29 – be sure to enter before then!